A willful young aristocrat, whose perverse nature has already driven her fiancé to break off their engagement, pursues and affectively seduces her father's valet during the course of a Midsummer's Eve celebration. The progress of that seduction and the play's stunning denouncement shocked Swedish audiences who first attended the play in 1889. Despite its controversial debut, this now-classic drama, inspired by the new ideas of naturalism and psychology that swept Europe in the late 19th century, helped to shape the modern theatre, and remains one of the most potent - and most frequently performed - of modern plays.
A comedic parable of the dangers inherent in indoctrination, performed in 1951 as La Leçon and published in 1953. The absurd plot of the play concerns a timid professor who uses the meaning he assigns to words to establish tyrannical dominance over an eager female student. The play deals with a themes that are relevant even today. Eugene Ionesco has skillfully camouflaged political criticism and philosophical thought in the garb of wit and comedy. There are only three characters: the brusque Maid, the earnest Pupil, and the intense Professor. The Pupil comes for her lesson in the hope of earning her doctorate. The Professor, a caricature of an academic personality, attempts to help her.